Taguma Mahonde, ZIMSTAT’s Chief, Slated for Court Appearance

by Oluwatosin Alabi

In a development that’s caught the attention of many, Taguma Mahonde, the Director General of the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT), is scheduled to face the court this coming Thursday, 28 September. The court date stems from his recent arrest on allegations of fraud.

Mahonde’s apprehension by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) centers on two main issues: suspected violations of tender procedures during the sale of official vehicles and purported fraud linked to claiming school fees for his children.

In a conversation with The Herald, ZACC’s spokesperson, Thandiwe Mlobane, confirmed Mahonde’s arrest. Mlobane detailed, “ZACC took into custody the director general of ZimStat on 26 September 2023. The arrest pertains to the fraudulent school fees claims associated with his children. Our team is also probing potential breaches in tender processes.”

Intriguingly, Mahonde presented a recent board resolution to ZACC, which appeared to sanction his claims for school fees. However, Mlobane highlighted discrepancies between this resolution and one from the previous year. “Upon realizing that ZACC had wrapped up their investigation, a new resolution was swiftly created last week by the board, retroactively justifying the amounts Mahonde claimed since 2021. However, a previous resolution in 2022 already addressed the school fees for his children. The discrepancies are concerning,” Mlobane remarked.

According to reports by The Herald, inside sources reveal that Mahonde made monetary claims, labeling them as school fee allowances for his kids. Still, the conspicuous absence of any supporting documentation, like school invoices or receipts, raises eyebrows about the legitimacy of these claims.

Furthering the allegations, Mahonde is believed to have purchased premium-grade service vehicles at a mere fraction of their market value, a move that potentially robbed the state of significant revenue. Moreover, his acquisition of two vehicles in less than the mandated five-year period flouts regulations that dictate senior officials’ vehicle procurement.

The swirling allegations and the impending court appearance cast a shadow over Mahonde’s tenure at ZIMSTAT. As the case unfolds, it’s anticipated that more details will emerge, shedding light on the depth and extent of the alleged misdeeds.

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